Background

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Lesson Three

Paranormal: The New Normal

  • The purpose of this lesson is to make us aware of how demons work in our lives and in the world so that we can avoid giving them a foothold.
  • Two errors about the Devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.
  • The Paranormal is attractive and has become normal in our society
  • The Paranormal teaches of faults gospel, makes promises you cannot keep and will always bring people into bondage and confusion. 
  • Satan masquerades as an angel of Light
  • Only Jesus Christ can set us free. Only in Jesus can we know the purpose for our lives. Only in Jesus can we experience lasting peace. And only in Jesus can we truly know the truth
The Occult:
  • Occult divination claims to predict the future
  • Spiritualism seeks to communicate with the Dead (Believers are warned not to tolerate mediums and spiritualists. God condemn Saul for Consulting a witch. God speaks of the foolishness of Consulting mediums and the dead when we serve a living God.)
  • Satanism glorifies evil. Satanists worship Satan as their lord and live their lives openly opposed to Christianity

  • Scripture tells us demons can cause illness, Agony, loss of the ability to speak, and pain.
  • As Spiritual Beings demons are intelligent, vicious, unclean, with power to afflict men with physical hurt, and moral and spiritual contamination.
  • New Testament writers continually affirmed both that demons exist and that they are active in the world James 2:19, Luke 9:42, Matthew 25:41.
  • Daniel 10:13 and 10:20, demonic intervention delayed an answer for Daniel
  • Paul is not interested in every aspect of the Demonic organizational chart, rather, he wants Believers in Christ to know the power and organization of the enemy so that "we are not ignorant of his designs" 2 Corinthians 2:11
  • Spiritual warfare - Paul mentions these weapons to help you battle: 
  • A spiritual stronghold is an idea, a thought process, a habit, or an addiction through which Satan his influence in your life. Declare war on the stronghold by substituting physical biblical truth, claiming the mind of Christ, using spiritual weapons, praying for the holy spirit's power and guidance, requesting others prayers and support, boldly making God's truth clear, and claiming the victory by faith
  • We can trust in God to save us from Satan's power because Jesus defeated Satan with the resurrection, Bible prophecy, and the Holy Spirit
  • Scriptures shows us that demonic activity will increase as we approach Christ Second Coming. We see the evidence in the world today with massive tragedies shootings and terrorist attacks. 2 Timothy 3:13
  • In the last days, as evil and deception become more and more commonplace, christ-followers must rely even more on God's word. It is the only way to tell the true from the false
  • Unknowingly, many people who are not followers of Jesus are under the control and influence of demons. They're not popular to admit in a sophisticated Society such as the United States, it is certainly true that the enemy is at work albeit covertly.
  • 1 John 4:1-3  we can test the spirits so that we are not influenced by faults teaching or other evil: (1) they should acknowledge that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, was crucified and resurrected (2) do they teach that Jesus is fully God and fully man?
  • Jesus came to destroy Satan's work and, ultimately, Satan and his demons themselves. All those Satan is still the ruler of this world (see John 14:30 1 John 5:19) , he is already defeated because of Jesus' sacrifice. The Apostle John describe the eventual fate of Satan (and his demons with him) in Revelation 20:10. Satan's Doom is sealed
Psychological Warfare: The Battle for the Believer's Mind
Capture their minds, and their hearts and souls will follow. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Unanswered Lesson Two

Body of Proof

From the video:
  • We must recover a resurrection-Centric faith Acts 17:6, Romans 1:4
  • There is historical evidence 
  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-8
  • Eyewitness testimony, all report the same thing 
  • Prophecy fulfilled.
  • For nearly four hundred years it was illegal to be a Christian 
  • In the first century world, women were not viewed as trustworthy, so they would have been considered unreliable first Witnesses of such a Monumental event.
  • The gospel writers did not make up the story out of thin air. If they had, they would not have used women as the most credible first witnesses to the empty tomb.
Evidence for Jesus' resurrection:
  • Story of the empty tomb found in all four Gospels
  • Women were the first Witnesses
  • Something incredible must have taken place on that Sunday to cause Jewish Believers to begin worshiping on the first day of the week instead of the Sabbath.
  • Nothing short of the miracle of Resurrection can explain the transformation in the disciples. After previously Running Scared they were willing to suffer persecution and martyrdom, in order to preach Jesus is the resurrected Lord.
  • Jesus predicted his death and Resurrection
The Importance of Predictions:
  • Jesus predicted his death and resurrection
  • Jesus' death and Resurrection defeated the ultimate enemies of all humans: sin and death
  • Jesus' death and Resurrection were a consummation of God's saving work, his redeeming work for all Humanity
  • The Risen Jesus told His disciples to go out and make disciples of the nations. Of all people. Not just Israel Acts 1:8
  • There were many post-resurrection appearances by Jesus
  • To guide someone to the truth you must be a great listener. You want to build the foundation of a trusting relationship through which you can show compassion and share biblical truth when the person is ready to hear it.



Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Fall Study

Unanswered. Lasting Truth for Trending Questions. By Jeremiah Johnston.

God on Mute

From the video:
  1. God's silence is real, Biblical, personal, common, and not always bad.
  2. When the silence is real, I should saturate myself in the Psalms.
  3. Silence should always lead me to the stones of remembrance.
  4. The Silence of God can lead us from transformation to Triumph.
  • God grows you in silence.
  • Pray that you can be thoughtful ambassadors for Jesus in your lives.
  • Abraham and Sarai's story, and that of Joseph, both illustrate God's silence.
  • God had much bigger and better plans for and through them than they could even "conceive."
  • We must have faith even during silence. God wants us to trust Him. To trust His way as well as His timing.
  • Sometimes God is silent as he prepares to bring you to a deeper understanding of himself. Sometimes His silence is designed to bring me into a state of absolute dependence on and trust in God.
  • God uses this time of waiting to prepare us to receive the plans and tasks He has for us. He is refining our character and forging stronger reliance on, and faith in Him so that we will be prepared for what He wants us to do.
  • When God is silent get away from the noise and spend some time alone with God, listening to Him through the word and prayer.
Acts 20 has 12 principles for continuing to live for God and serve him while undergoing trials or waiting for him to speak or act in our lives.
  1. Be an example. Our commitment to Christ is an example to others when we wait or suffer for him.
  2. Serve humbly. 
  3. Serve with Passion. Until people since the love of God in us, they will never respond to the love of God we describe.
  4. Be committed to the truth. Are we committed in whole, not in part, to the truth of God's word? We cannot pick and choose what we like about God's message and what we do not.
  5. Do not compromise. Our goal as the church is to make people true disciples who spiritual maturity is evident.
  6. Persevere. If we are going to be faithful to God even during His silence, we must learn how to persevere. Trials will come. Perseverance will energize us to transcend those trials.
  7. Be courageous in the face of adversity.
  8. Have the right attitude.
  9. Commit to finish strong. There are too many shooting star Christians. We must pray for greater resolve and long-term faithfulness to wait on the Lord and follow through with what He wants you to do.
  10. Be responsible; protect the Sheep under your care.
  11. Do not quit.
  12. Pray and love. This is the kind of love that needs to characterize our families and churches. Our pastors and our people should sense this kind of love. 17 times the New Testament instructs us to 'love one another" or "love each other."
Here are five important principles for engaging in a conversation about tough questions of faith.
  1. Shut up and listen
  2. Avoid Island fever
  3. Be cool
  4. Bay curious
  5. Don't go beast mode

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Why go to Church? Part One

Just going to church doesn't make us a Christian. We're saved by grace through faith because of Jesus' life, death, and Resurrection. So, a believer will not lose his or her salvation if they don't go to church.

However scriptures teach us that the Christian life should be lived within the family of God and not in isolation. Ephesians 3: 4-15 Acts 2: 42-47. Hebrews 10: 24-25 and let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another...  When you become a Christian, you were called into a relationship with God 1 Corinthians: 1-9, but, 1 John:1-3 makes it clear that we enter a fellowship that goes two ways: with God and with other Christians.

Acts 20:7 reveals the practice of the early church the first day of the week the disciples came together to break bread and Paul preached to them. For Christians in every location regular Gathering was a part of life.

Unity of the body of Christ- now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it 1 Corinthians 12:27. It's not logical to say that you are just a part of the worldwide church yet refused to gather with the part of that church that exists in your area. Dr. John Bechtle says, "it would be like claiming you have a car, when the right fender is in Phoenix, the engine is in Tucson, and the wheels are in Paradise Valley! You don't have a car; you have the beginning of the inventory for a junkyard. It just won't function until all the pieces are put together." There are many irreplaceable pieces of a Christian that cannot exist when she/he lives in isolation from the church.

Accountability- God designed the church as a place where spiritual leaders could watch out for our welfare. 1 Peter 5:1-4, Hebrews 13:17. A Christian who answers only to himself can easily rationalize sinful attitudes or actions; regular contact with other Christians can keep us Sharp.

Use of spiritual gifts- 1 Corinthians 12 makes it clear that God has given spiritual gifts to every Christian. Verse seven states that these abilities are not provided just to make us feel good they are abilities to minister that should be used for the common good. 1 Peter 4:10 commands us to use the spiritual gifts to help each other. We will discover a sense of accomplishment and contentedness when we begin to carry out our purpose in the body of Christ. We are the ones who miss out on all the blessings of God and the gifts of our "family members" if we choose not to be a part of Christ's body. We meet with other Christians so they can use their gifts to strengthen us. God's Gift of a minister is wasted if no one comes to hear them speak.

Mutual Ministry- God intends each of us to meet the needs of other believers, using our strengths to help and their areas of weakness. Dr. John Bechtle relates, that
"The New Testament is full of 'one another' commands. We are to comfort one another (1Thessalonians 4:18), build up one another (1Thessalonians 5:11), confess our sins to one another snd pray for one another (James 5:16) and many more. How can we obey these directives if we stay away from the Gathering of believers?"

Developing the character of Christ- Ephesians 4:2 be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. How else will we grow spiritually unless we interact with other believers? We learn humility, patience, and gentleness as we interact with one another in the body of Christ.

Spiritual Protection- 1 Peter 5: 1-4
Our leaders in the body of Christ keep watch over us for our own protection and blessing. There will be difficult moments as part of a church family but there are also blessings that we will never experience unless we become connected to the body of Christ.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Praying For Strangers

Do you ever find yourself praying for random people you see in a store? Today I saw this adorable little girl just laughing and giggling with her mom it gave me the biggest smile, so I said a prayer: God bless that little girl and her Momma.. 

I also saw a lady who was a dwarf with a very severe limp and I watched her as she struggled to push the cart full of her purchases and thought she's struggling with something that I take for granted so I said a prayer for her asking God to find blessings for her and more ways for her to find him in her life. 

I feel God smiling at me and I feel his warm embrace when I pray for a random stranger. I feel his Delight and the connectedness that we feel as members of the human race.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.
1 Timothy 2:1

Herefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

James 5:16


Friday, June 30, 2017

God's Hand In Nature

Did you think I deserted the blog? I am happy to announce that I have been pain free this past week! I am now a fan of dry needling, and am grateful to my orthopedic surgeon for diagnosing my back and thigh pain. I can now sit at the computer for short periods of time, so here I am.

The most beautiful things in life truly are free: a child's laughter, the blaze of color in a sunset, the love of family and friends. God has supplied us with so many amazing things!

 As I was walking this morning I concentrated on nature as I usually do on walks. However this time something was different, a bit sweeter. I haven't been able to walk for several weeks and I guess I missed it. I found myself so full of joy at being able to walk and play with the dogs. Joy at the beautiful blue sky. Blue is my favorite color and I often point out the specific shade of medium blue in portions of the sky to God, because that is my all time most favorite shade of blue. This morning, I saw a couple of blue birds too, which I don't see too often. I took in deep breaths of the clean country air, thoroughly enjoying the smell. I wondered at all the flowers my husband has planted in the yard and around the front pasture. I praised God for the lush green grass that we're able to enjoy, the birds singing, the dogs and the neighbor's horses playing the fields across the road. Nature is truly a marvelous blessing. No offense to city dwellers, but I'm so glad that I live in the country, for me, it is perfect. The wonderful clean taste of well water after our walk just added to my joy for all that God has created in nature. You know, he really is the consummate artist. I can not fathom how anyone can spend time on our planet, and think this was all created in any way other than by intelligent design. I see God's hand everywhere in nature.

 My prayer is for you to take some time this week to "smell the roses" and enjoy God's magnificent creation. When I came back inside from my walk, I looked for scripture relating to nature to share with you all.

 In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Psalm 95: 4-5 

 Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God's wonders. Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash? Do you know how the clouds hang poised, those wonders of him who has perfect knowledge? Job 37: 14-16 

 The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1

How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number - living things both large and small. Psalm 104:24-25 

 The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my chosen. Isaiah 43:20




Thursday, May 25, 2017

Answering Prayers

Answering prayers is something all Christians spend time pondering. It's something we need to understand and be able to explain to those who are struggling in some way. Luke 11:9 says, "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." If you look carefully at this scripture, Jesus said seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. He did not say that God will give you everything you ask for exactly as you asked and when you want it. God loves us and he is not going to give us something that He knows is not going to be good for us. He also may have something better in mind. 

Charles Stanley offers an example of a woman praying for a husband and family. Perhaps God has found someone special for her, but he is 500 miles away. Time is needed to meet someone who is that distance away. Perhaps she or the young man need a little time to grow or change in some way so that the relationship will work out best. 

Prayer should be motivated by a desire to fellowship with the Lord and not simply because we want something from Him. As our relationship with god grows stronger through conversing with Him we can face hardship or difficulty. Prayer is our way having fellowship with God. When we are quiet and praying/talking to Him, he lays His thoughts on our hearts. 

We must learn to persevere in our prayers. God is working on us or the circumstances. The more we get to know Him, the fewer things we will ask for. The more tHe will give us. He just wants us to
fellowship with Him.  

In Ephesians chapter 6, Paul did not ask the church to pray that he be released from prison, but that he would continue to speak fearlessly for Christ in spite of his imprisonment.

I can NOT emphasize how much these to sermons impacted me. Dr. Stanley puts his biblical teaching into such a practical way. I really found great answers to the question, "why doesn't God seem to answer all prayers. He DOES and Dr. Stanley does a great job of illustrating the answer.

https://www.intouch.org/listen/featured/the-key-to-answered-prayer-part-1

https://www.intouch.org/listen/featured/the-key-to-answered-prayer-part-2